Viewing entries tagged
Wall Street Journal

Starbucks Gives "Behind-the-Paywall" Access.

I logged into Starbucks' wifi this morning and was presented with the below screen. I find it fascinating that Starbucks has an ad for "full behind-the-paywall access. Free." This strikes me as very much an industry term that is neither: - well known - consumer friendly, or - flattering for the content providers (WSJ, ESPN, USA Today, NY Times)

Agree? Disagree?

Advertisers, Publishers Await iPad Launch

"Some of the things you can do are just mind blowing," says Steve Pacheco, FedEx's director of advertising. "You are taking something that used to be flat on a page and making it interactive and have it jump off the page." This is just one glowing quote, among several, in the Wall Street Journal's "Magazines Use the iPad as Their New Barker". Yesterday, I wrote about how the iPad has the opportunity to transform traditional print and reading; today's WSJ talks about how the iPad has the potential to transform the advertisements (and therefore the revenues) for print publications like Conde Nast, Hearst and Time Inc. The model seems appealing to:

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are working with test iPads, according to people familiar with the matter. Six advertisers, including Coca-Cola and FedEx, have agreed to advertise with the Journal, and a four-month ad package costs $400,000, according to these people. Coke and FedEx declined to comment on terms. The Journal plans to charge subscribers $17.99 a month for iPad subscriptions, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ultimately it comes down to consumer appetite and distribution, but the cycle has the potential to create greater value from already-produced content:

- publishers can deliver content electronically ... and derive direct revenues from download - advertisers, who can create more compelling, engaging ads - and therefore the publishers can draw greater ad values (of course sell through is the major issue)

Whether or not the iPad transforms print, it has captured the attention and imagination of publishers and advertisers alike - and that is sparking innovation... which alone is valuable and exciting.

Apple Takes Over Wall Street Journal with iLife Ad

A week after Apple took over to attack Microsoft's latest campaign... And two months after they shook up with a terrific iPhone ad.... And over a year after promoted Leopard on

Apple released another terrific rich ad campaign - this time on the Wall Street Journal and promoting iLife. Apple seems to have mastered the interactive double ad-unit (horizontal and double-width leaderboard) where the two components interact with one another. The campaigns are integrated with other marketing efforts and encourage user engagement on the publisher's site... an win / win.


beRecruited Featured in Today's Wall Street Journal

beRecruited is prominently featured in today's Wall Street Journal article, "The Do-It-Yourself Scholarship", which graces the cover of the Personal Section. Author Matthew Futterman gives a thorough overview of collegiate sports recruiting and how the internet has made the process more effective and efficient for athletes and college coaches. Specifically, Futterman profiles the landscape of "recruiting marketers" ($1,000-$5,000 per athlete) and how services like beRecruited are reaching greater scale.

Kirsten Bladek had a problem.

Three weeks into her senior season on the Monarch High School volleyball team in Colorado, the 5-feet, 10-inch setter found herself warming the bench. Her dream of an athletic scholarship seemed dead -- especially since her family couldn't afford the $1,000 or so that many parents pay these days to hire a private athletic-recruiting counselor.

But then in September, Ms. Bladek spent $39.99 to post her athletic résumé and pictures of her playing on the Web site The shots, combined with videos posted later, highlighted her ability to set the ball from in front of her forehead, with arms thrust out like Superman in flight. That display, combined with some telephone campaigning by Kirsten and her mother, got college coaches to start paying attention.

"I've been getting so many calls from random numbers, half of them I'm scared to pick up," says Kirsten, who recently took an all-expenses-paid visit to New Mexico Highlands University, where she was offered a scholarship.

Ms. Bladek's experience highlights the changing landscape of athletic scholarships. Coaches and recruiters easily notice top-tier talent in big-name sports.

Homepage Advertising: Wall Street Journal &

I've recently spent a lot of time on tracking Red Sox free agency rumors. I've been very impressed with's revamped sports section and blogging efforts (the best I've seen for online newspaper sources) - but I have also been struck by the advertising on their homepage... which is rather untraditional compared to other branded, highly trafficked websites. I've written about aggressive branded campaigns before - using the New York Post as an example. takes the opposite strategy: lots of varied ad-sizes scattered throughout the page.

Take a look at a screenshot from and the Wall Street Journal below. has two 180x90s beside their logo, two 235x60s on the left column and a 300x250 on the right. Honestly, there isn't much room for content between all the various units. The Wall Street Journal however, has two matching, rich-media units and a smaller banner in the header promoting WSJ subscriptions. The WSJ screenshot is poor because it doesn't capture the full horizontal ad-unit (it's being collapsed).

In the long run, I imagine that the Wall Street Journal is most effective for the brands... and consequently for the publisher. It's certainly the better user-experience. Fill rate for those integrated, rich campaigns are likely below 100% - and that's perhaps when the strategy is best served: as filler. Homepage

Wall Street Journal Homepage

Techmeme's Leaderboard is Shifting: Nearly 1/3rd of Leaderboard is New

I've analyzed Techeme's Leaderboard several times before (headlines vs. discussions, 'presence' vs. pageviews, etc) and thought it would be worthwhile to understand movement within the leaderboard.

I compared Techmeme's Leaderboard on May 14 vs. today's current Leaderboard (July 12). Techmeme ranks their top 100 blogs by "Presence", the percentage of headline space a source occupies over the 30-day period. The results are fascinating.

First, Techmeme's head has gotten less powerful. TechCrunch represented 8.05% of Techmeme's headlines on May 14th and fell to 7.55% two months later... the 7th largest gain during that period. Techmeme's top 10 sources represented 31% of all headlines two months ago and now account for 29%.

Only two of Techmeme's top 10 sources grew during that period: Silicon Alley Insider and the New York Times. In fact, five of the top ten sources saw the largest total drops:

Techcrunch (#1 on May 14, #1 on July 12): -0.49% ; seventh largest fall Wall Street Journal (#8 in May, #18 in July): -0.61%, fifth largest fall ArsTechnica (#6 in May, #8 in July): -0.79%; third largest fall Between the Lines (#9 in May, #23 in July): -0.82%; second largest fall ReadWrite Web (#4 in May, #7 in July) - 1.03% ; largest fall

Techmeme's Leaderboard ranked by biggest period-over-period change in 'presence':

Techmeme is often criticized for being too reliant on the major blogs... but their Leaderboard's shifting content providers suggests that either:

- Techmeme's algorithm is giving greater credibility to new / small sources, and/or - great content is coming from new / small blogs

Over the last two months, nearly 1/3rd of Techmeme's Leaderboard has turned over: there are 27 new blogs within Techmeme's top 100. The flip side of the argument, however, is that the largest gainers during this two month period are prominent sources and big brands:

Source / Net Gain NewTeeVee +43 Financial Times +43 San Francisco Chronicle +42 CenterNetworks +33 Tech Trader Daily +31 Download Squad +25 MacRumors +24 Infinite Loop +24 Valleywag +23 AppleInsider +22 Washington Post +22 A VC +15 Lifehacker +14 Mashable! +11 PC World +11 Apple 2.0 +10 Futuristic Play +10 Engadget +9

Techmeme's Leaderboard compared from May 14 to July 12: